“Faisal Mohammad: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know,” by Paul Farrell, Heavy, November 5, 2015:
An 18-year-old named Faisal Mohammad “had a smile on his face” as he stabbed four people at a University of California campus in Merced, according to witnesses. He was shot and killed by campus police officers who responded to the school after hearing about the attack. The incident occurred on the morning of November 4 in the town of Merced, just over 100 miles west of San Jose. A statement from the school said that the attack happened outdoors on the campus in front of the Classroom and Office Building. Later it emerged that the stabbing began inside of a classroom and spilled out into the front of the building.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was a Freshman Student at the School
The alert about the stabbing first came from the school’s Twitter account at around 8 a.m. on November 4. Mohammad was a student at the school with his age being described, incorrectly, as “early 20s,” reports The Merced Sun Star. The paper was quoting Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke, who has his deputies assisting the Merced Campus police in the investigation. CBS Fresno’s Janelle Bludau reports that the officer who shot Muhammad “was a former sheriffs deputy.”
Working on the roof of this building at uc Merced and I look to my right on the ground is a lady laying down she got stabbed in the chest
— Josh Palm3r (@Josh_palmer) November 4, 2015
An official statement from the school confirmed that Muhammad had been shot and killed by responding officers. Erroneous reports had earlier stated that Muhammad had been arrested by officers. LA Times reporter Hailey Brandons-Potts reports that Muhammad was shot dead on a bridge that most students use to walk to classes.
2. Police Say 2 of the Victims Are in Critical Condition
One of the victims is Byron Price, who works for his father’s construction company. (Facebook)
In total, four people were stabbed by Muhammad. The Merced Sun Star newspaper reports that the two critical victims had to be flown to a hospital. All of the victims were conscious by the time first responders got to the scene.
A tweet from the school said that not all of the victims are students. The Los Angeles Times’ Joe Serna reported that two victims are students and one is a school staff member. The other is a 31-year-old construction worker named Byron Price.
He told Your Central Valley that after being stabbed a coworker drove him to a nearby hospital. In an interview the station, Price added that he was working outside the building where the stabbing took place. After hearing screaming, Price went to see what had happened. “Upon opening the door to the classroom, the suspect attacked him with a knife,” during which point he was stabbed although he did manage to kick Muhammad. According to his Facebook page, Price just got engaged on October 14, around 2 weeks before the attack. Speaking to CBS Fresno, Price said that Mohammad “had a smile on his face, he was having fun – which is more what bothers me.”
One student, who was not a victim, described the weapon as being a “10-12 inch blade.” It was later confirmed that the knife was 8-10 inches in length. The Los Angeles Times described it as a “hunting knife.”
3. His Dorm Was Evacuated by the Bomb Squad After the Stabbing
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the dorm where Muhammad lived, Tuolumne, was evacuated and searched by the local bomb squad, reports the school newspaper, The Prodigy. One student, who knew Muhammad’s room mate, said that the suspect was “rarely ever in the room.” The Merced Sun Star reports that he was a native of Santa Clara, California.
4. The Stabbing Caused Classes to Be Canceled as Cops Ordered a Lockdown
The school was opened in 2005 and has around 6,685 students enrolled, most of whom come from California. The Merced Sun Star reported that in the immediate aftermath of the stabbing, the school was closed with students advised to avoid the campus. Roads around the facility were blocked off. A statement from the school says that counseling is available 24 hours a day from the University of California Counseling & Psychological Services, call 209-228-4266 to speak to a counsellor over the phone….